Averaged out, a new Terrence Malick flick hits the silver screen every seven trips we take around the sun, each one a masterpiece in its own way. So today’s release of The Tree of Life starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn is cause for celebration (it’s already been celebrated, in fact, by winning top honors at Cannes). Go see it. But if you’re pinching pennies and all of this Malick hype has you jonesing, head over to Netflix and stream The Thin Red Line.
Malick’s third film, released in 1998 (and 25 years since his first), follows an Army unit fighting in the Pacific theater of World War II. An anti-war war movie (aren’t they all?), the movie follows a group of barely-adult soldiers running headlong into combat for the first time to take back a hilltop bunker occupied by the Japanese. Scared shitless, unsure of what to expect or if it’s all worth it, these men display an internal angst not often seen in a war film.